In less than ten days, four asteroids will impact the Earth and no place on the planet can provide refuge from the collisions
“We’re going to use nine megaton warheads in space and we’re not sure they’re large enough to be effective. Why would you even consider using kiloton-range surface-to-air warheads as back-up?” The answer was succinct. “Because they’re all we have.”
Actual CNN News Item: February 2008 - U.S. Navy uses missile defense system for first time to successfully down errant satellite.
Actual Fox News Item: March 2009 - A small asteroid buzzed by Earth Monday ... less than twice as far out as many telecommunications satellites. Had 2009 DD45 hit the Earth, it would have exploded on or near the surface with the force of a large nuclear blast — not very reassuring when you consider humanity had only about three days' notice.
Actual Daily Mail news Item: May 2011 - A massive asteroid [YU55] will fly within the moon's orbit narrowly missing Earth ... on November 8. ... If it was to hit Earth, it would exert a force the equivalent of 65,000 atomic bombs and leave a crater six miles wide and 2,000ft deep.
Actual AP News Item: February 15, 2013 - ... nearly 1,000 people have sought help for injuries after a meteor streaked through the sky and exploded Friday over Russia's Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb. ... The meteor -- estimated to be about 10 tons -- entered the Earth's atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 33,000 mph and shattered about 18-32 miles above the ground ... It released the energy of several kilotons above the Chelyabinsk region ...
What do these news items have to do with Gary Stephens' novel, Epiphany? In a story seemingly ripped from headlines, Epiphany, published in early November 2007 chillingly predicts the future ... OUR future.
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Soon after NASA detects huge asteroids hurtling toward California, the President announces a plan to deploy nuclear warheads from the space shuttle to destroy them. As the West Coast evacuates, General Jack Harrison, a man haunted by nightmares from a long ago war, is chosen to implement a controversial and top-secret backup plan should the shuttle mission fail.
Against a clock that seems to be ticking far too fast, Jack, two long-time comrades, and a group of men and women little different from any of us feverishly work to turn a Cold War museum into an operational Nike-Hercules missile battery. Their bold attempt to blend new and old technologies to thwart the unthinkable leaves them questioning whether their mission is as futile as it is daring. The only thing of which they are certain is that if they fail, they die.
This intricately woven story about the meeting of technology and faith challenges beliefs and serves as warning to us all of a natural disaster that is not only possible, but probable—and for which the world is still defenseless.
Amazon Reader Reviews
| Not A Typical Disaster Story
Impeccably researched, Epiphany approaches a familiar techno-thriller plot in an unfamiliar way - realistically. Author Gary Stephens' answers to the question of how an unprepared world might confront a space object collision with little advance warning are unsettling, and as would likely be the case if such an event were to actually happen, the reader shouldn't expect a completely tidy ending. Epiphany's characters are not the larger-than-life superheroes typical of this novel's genre. Instead, Stephens has populated his story with characters who are "everyman" (and woman). They exhibit the human virtues and flaws we all possess, and you will identify with and care about the fates of these ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
, December 11, 2007
| Extremely compelling
Although I am typically not a fan of action novels, I found that I could not put this one down. Gary Stephens constructs his characters in a way that makes the reader feel instantly bonded with them. I found myself completely wrapped up in their story and cheering for the success of those involved with the mission. The book has a lot of military references to it, however as someone unfamiliar with the technical language of the novel I found that the author made everything clear without getting caught up in wordy explanations. This novel is definitely one I will enjoy reading again.
, December 12, 2007
Read a free excerpt by using the Amazon link and then choosing the "Look Inside" option. You can buy Epiphany in Kindle, Nook, paperback or hardcover from Amazon and other major booksellers